By Karen Head

In the category of “hidden treasures” is the Kirkwood Public House (formerly Vinocity-Kirkwood) at 1963 Hosea Williams Drive. Along with the new name comes a commitment to the ideas that make this restaurant work. This is what, if I were British, I’d call “my local.” I live walking distance from here, and so do many of the patrons. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the drive. In fact, you should walk, drive, bike, scooter, MARTA, jet-pack, teleport, or whatever works for you, to this place. Why? Because it is the kind of place where they learn your name and want your business. John, Mitch, and the rest of the staff will do whatever it takes to make you feel at home.

Of course, the other really big reason to go is the food. The menu is diverse enough to satisfy a variety of tastes and needs. Meat eaters will love the slider trio (one beef, one lamb, one veal), hanger steak, or PBR-braised pork shank. And if you are looking for traditional pub fare, the burgers are spot-on–I especially like the black and blue burger. Another great choice is the Public House Club with roasted turkey, bacon, and a really nice chipotle aioli. Spring for the up-charge and get the warm potato salad as your side.

Some non-traditional choices that also ring true are the duck confit quesadilla, salmon tartar, and a surprisingly good (for a pub) cheese board. For the vegetarians among you, I highly recommend the hummus. It comes in two forms: an appetizer plate or a wrap. Both are excellent.

Generally there is a special or two, especially on weekend nights. Weekends also bring a good brunch, although the brunch menu could use more inspiration, in my opinion. The food is great, but the choices are the “usual” suspects.

As I mentioned earlier, this is the kind of place where the staff really gets to know the customers. This means it is a comfortable place to simply pop in and have a drink. With 50 beers and 40 wines by the glass, along with a full bar, this is a good choice for “a drink.” I’m still trying to convince them to stock some pretzels at the bar, but you can always order some fries if you need a nibble.

I have eaten at this place at least four times a month for the last year and a half, and I’ve never been disappointed. You won’t be either; so, give it try.

Visit Karen Head’s blog, Poetic Acts in a Digital World, to find out more about her poetry.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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